What is it about bears that say “wilderness” to us? For North America, these are our super predator. Their reign is undisputed in the natural world. For me, there are few moments in life in which I feel more alive, more connected, wilder, freer, happier, and electrified with life as when I find myself staring into the eyes of a bear.
This photograph is from one of my Alaska Brown Bears workshops a couple years back . I have thousands of brown bear photos from previous years that I have yet to look at. As I prepare to fly out to Anchorage and then on to Lake Clark National Park this weekend, I felt now would be a good time to start pouring over images from past workshops.
Anytime I am getting ready to embark on a trip to a location that I have photographed before, I lose myself for hours in my own photographs before hand. I study them. I contemplate what worked and what didn’t. This gets the mental gears turning. It gets me thinking. I start crafting new images in my minds eye. I start anticipating problems and their solutions in the field. And the whole process lets me get prepared, on the creative level, for what is right around the corner.